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Livingstone v. The Rawyards Coal Company
House of Lords
5 App. Cas. 25 (1880)
Livingstone (plaintiff) owned an acre and a half of coal-bearing land with miners’ cottages. The miners (defendants) mined Livingstone’s land for coal because the miners believed they owned the mineral rights for the land. Livingstone did not know that he owned both the surface and mineral rights to the land. Livingstone sued the miners and sought to recover for the damage done to the houses and for the value of the coal that was extracted from his land. The trial court awarded Livingstone £515 in damages. An appellate court reduced the award to reflect the value of the coal if Livingstone had sold it at the time it was mined plus an amount to cover damage done to the houses caused by the mining. Livingstone appealed that decision and asked the court to restore the original damage award.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lord Blackburn, J.)
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